“Fear of Numbers”
By Cynthia Macdonald
My prediction for this article was that kids are sometimes really scared of numbers and that’s why they don’t do well in math. The article never really said that but for me I think the author put “Fear of Numbers” as the title since some people don’t understand math and they don’t want to be looked down on in society, since it’s embarrassing if you don’t know if you have enough money for a coffee. But if I was the one who wrote this I’d call it “Suiting the Student” since they say kids don’t learn math because of the teachers and how they teach it. So if they teach it to suit the student they’d actually learn it.
In this article it talks about why kids don’t understand math. The author says kids don’t understand math not because of their gender, but how they’re taught. This is happening all over the world. In the 1960’s ‘new math’ came into the scene which was very confusing and different than what people were used to. Some people really try and help kids understand math like John Mighton who created a tutoring program which now helps kids in England and South Africa.
There were a few facts in this article that I found really interesting. One said only half of Canadians have the numeric skills and knowledge ‘necessary to function well’ in society. I actually found that very shocking that in some ways only half my math class understand the math we do. Another fact is that one third of community college students in Ontario are in danger of failing first-year math. It is sad how someone who wants to have a good career but they can’t pass a mandatory course like math because they don’t understand it. One fact that relates to me is one third of all high-school students are currently registered in applied courses. This year we never had a choice of applied or pre-cal but we had to make the choice for next year and it’s surprising how high the number is.
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